Former Philadelphia Congressman Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

by Fred Low

A U. S. District Court judge has sentenced former Congressman Chaka Fattah, Sr., to 10 years in prison for his conviction last June on racketeering charges.

Former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah

Former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah

Judge Harvey Bartle of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia ordered the 60-year-old Fattah to report to prison in January.

Fattah represented Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District since 1994 until his defeat for re-election in April. The 2nd District includes North, South and West Philadelphia and Lower Merion in suburban Montgomery County.

A jury convicted Fattah of bribery, wire fraud and 27 other charges after a four-week trial. The jury found that Fattah took out an illegal $1 million loan to prop up his failed 2007 run for Philadelphia mayor.

Fattah resigned in June from Congress shortly after his conviction.

While in Congress, Fattah was the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Commerce, Justice, and Science Committee.

The subcommittee oversees billions in federal spending, including the budget of the Justice Department. He was also chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation the non-profit research organization that hosts the annual legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Fattah also has been ordered to pay a $614,000 fine, and he will be supervised for three years following his release.

Chattah Fattah Jr., his son, was sentenced to prison in February for defrauding Philadelphia banks. He was a Philadelphia businessman.

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